WIND Mobile pulls out of 700Mhz spectrum auction due to lack of funding

Daniel Bader

January 13, 2014 6:00pm

WIND Mobile’s parent company, Globalive, has pulled out of the 700Mhz spectrum auction, set to begin tomorrow.

The company reportedly couldn’t find the financial backing for the project, as its Russian-owned parent company pulled the necessary funds to invest. The new entrant requires additional spectrum if it plans to make further inroads into the Canadian smartphone market. WIND Mobile has just under 650,000 customers across Canada, mainly in southern Ontario, Vancouver and parts of Alberta, and was to have used the spectrum to roll out an LTE network.

Already available across the United States, the 700Mhz band is widely thought to be the “beachfront property” of wireless, as it is easily able to penetrate thick walls and travel further with less distortion and signal degradation.

With Mobilicity’s parent also out of the running, the announcement leaves the Big Three, Rogers, TELUS and Bell, to each pick and choose a prime paired block in regions that are not challenged by regional carriers like SaskTel, Eastlink, MTS and Videotron. Each incumbent is limited to buying one prime paired block of spectrum in the auction, which is expected to raise over $1 billion for the government.

WIND Mobile’s absence from the auction also puts into jeopardy the government’s attempt to ensure a viable fourth competitor in all markets across Canada. Though WIND will continue to operate as normal, and may begin refarming some of its existing spectrum to support LTE in urban areas, parts of Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta may only attract three bidders, leaving at least one unpaired block unpurchased.

If there are remaining prime blocks of spectrum that go unpurchased, the government states that they will make “unassigned licences available for licensing through an alternative process, which could include a subsequent auction at a later date,” which may include additional public consultation.

Mark Goldberg, a Thornhill-based telecom consultant and founder of the Canadian Telecom Summit, said that this situation is “an unfortunate outcome of a wireless policy where the rules are changing too frequently and are leading to an unstable investment climate.” The government has previously blocked spectrum transfer deals, including a $380 million bid by TELUS for Mobilicity, and has fostered an environment where foreign entities like US-based Verizon, chose not to get involved.


WIND Mobile’s Chairman & CEO, Tony Lacavera, was disappointed by the need to drop out, but says it’s “onwards and upwards [from] here!”

  • Z A

    Not Good !!!!!

    • abtoaihoihgoihaoi

      RIP Wind

    • It’s Me

      Yup. Now we get to hear “I told you so” from all the carrier employees showing off their GED’s. That and the gloating of their shareholders.

      It’s going to get unbearable.

    • CADDMan71

      Uhhh, I told you so. I told you Wind had no money. I told you Wind had no backers. I told you Wind had no realistic business plan. I told you in December 2009 that Wind had no idea how to realistically start a new carrier in a market as small as Canada. I said…..oh whatever, you’ll drink your kool-aid and somehow believe that Wind has the leadership to take them beyond the failure they’ve built themselves into.

    • RoccoStiffReddi

      Just saw the jabroni on tv! He could only spout catch phrases and blur the lines. For a guy that swore up and down they were canadian he admits that wind is run from a land far far away. looking on the face book page it would seen the kool aid has run out.

    • CADDMan71

      I’ll have to look for it. What network was he on (probably owned by Rogers

    • CADDMan71

      If you’re referring to the CBC interview, I just saw it. Boy was there a lot of double talk, “we proved we’re Canadian controlled” followed by “we made an application….desired (for our foreign investors) to take control of the business” is just one example. A true patriot, true north strong and free. If Vimplecom truly believed in Wind Mobile’s direction they would have still ‘invested’ in their expansion, but they didn’t. The foreign ownership rules are just another red herring used as an excuse for their failure.
      Just because you don’t ‘control’ it doesn’t mean you can’t invest in it and get a return on that investment. BTW, ‘Canadian Control’ is just a term that’s thrown around as everyone in the industry knows that Wind Mobile, even before day 1, was a foreign controlled entity. The unelected CRTC who ‘follow the rules’ saw it, but it took an elected politician who ‘makes up the rules’ to overrule them to allow Wind to go on the air.

    • CADDMan71

      FYI, although this isn’t going to stem the tide of haters against my reality based opinion, I TRULY wanted Wind to make it in Canada. I actually worked for Wind on their initial network build out, and to this day continue to help them where ever possible (for example I recently produced a proposal in Edmonton that allowed them to keep one of their primary cell sites on the air as the building owners where their antennas were installed wanted them off. It was my presentation that convinced them to let Wind stay).

      My opinion has always been based on a dislike of the leadership of the company. Tough talk Tony has always been a puppet to his Egyptian (and now Russian) leaders. I’ve always believed that it was Tony and his pimp Naguib Sawiris’s arrogance that caused Wind to lack the direction necessary to properly roll out a cellular network in a country as vast, yet a market as puny, as Canada.
      I could go on, but what would be the point. Wind is on a downward spiral. This company had an opportunity to make a real difference in this country, and to a certain extent they did. But long term I have difficulty seeing Wind stay in business unless new money is injected into this money pit. If the likes of Orascom and Vimplecom, who are each huge companies, can’t support Wind………yes, think about it.

    • It’s Me

      And really, I have no problem with people that expected them to fail. I didn’t hold much hope for them, not because of their business plan (what else could they do but be cut rate?) but because of the massive challenges that would face any new entrant. Between fighting a cartel that controls the market, regulation that still required them to fight to be allowed foreign investment and only having access to the very inferior and uncommon AWS spectrum. It was always going to be a tough, uphill battle. Looks like they couldn’t make a go of it. I can’t blame them for trying against the odds.

      My issue would be with the fanbois, usually employees and shareholders, that were rooting for them to fail. What sort of koolaid to you have to drink to believe that less competition is a good thing?

    • Who Needs Facts

      I wonder if Winds business plan ever truly had them looking at being anything more than regional trying to skim the cream off the top.

      I would say no.

    • It’s Me

      Short term, I’d say you are right, except they were clearing not skimming the cream.

      Long term, I think they knew they’d have to be national. Hard to attract the cream as a regional carrier. But, I think the hoped for tougher enforcement of mandatory roaming on the big 3 to allow them to effectively be national. That came too late.

    • superfly

      Yes! Yes! Yes! Finally wind is done!

    • McNucklefuts

      why do you see this as a good thing?? Do you think prices will come down naturally without them?

    • superfly

      No. If people stop buying subsidized phones then the prices will fall.

    • Thomas C. Riddell

      WRONG with a monopoly Prices will go up

    • Dave M

      How do you see it as a monopoly? Last time I checked Telus, Bell and Rogers were independent companies, and each is at a war with each other to get your business. The big enemy here is local governments that demand huge monthly fees to hang antennas which are required to improve service, Do you not thing that these charges are not going to be passed on to users.

    • Tonio Time

      the fact that they divide the country very happily in zones they controll and they never really compete with prices …. it’s not a real monopoly but act like one!

    • Dave M

      How do you figure that? Right now Rogers, Bell, Telus, Fido, and Koodo are all offering me deals.
      And it is called an oligopoly. You know, 2 or more companies offering the same product or service at similar prices. Hmm, starting to sound like the oil business isn’t it?

    • Tonio Time

      uuuuuhhhhh somebody made his research…. I didn’t say it’s monopoly … i said they act like one…. the three companies and their fake minirival…. all together in bed with CRTC to make sure that they dont step on each other feet. shaw has cabel in west… rogers east…. Bell is strong ontario like rogers but in west telus is the winner….. the prices are all ridiculosly identicle!!! And I DO KNOW THAT IS CALLED OLIGOPOLY….. but i have news for you…. in this case is called cartel which ACTS LIKE A MONOPOLY…

    • Tonio Time

      uuuuuhhhhh somebody made his research…. I didn’t say it’s monopoly … i said they act like one…. the three companies and their fake minirival…. all together in bed with CRTC to make sure that they dont step on each other feet. shaw has cabel in west… rogers east…. Bell is strong ontario like rogers but in west telus is the winner….. the prices are all ridiculosly identicle!!! And I DO KNOW THAT IS CALLED OLIGOPOLY….. but i have news for you…. in this case is called cartel which ACTS LIKE A MONOPOLY…

    • ScooterinAB

      So following this logic about people saying that the Big 3 have an oligopoly, are Dell, HP, Acer, and Lenovo (among others) running an oligopoly on computers? Or Microsoft, Google, and Apple have an oligopoly on mobile operating systems? Or that companies like Loblaws and Sobeys (again, among others) have an oligopoly on groceries?

      No. That’s not how this works.

    • Me Ted

      Because the big 3 are breaking even. Muppet.

    • Dave M

      Of course they are making money, that is the point of being in business, to make money. There is a reason that Wind and Moblicity are in bankruptcy. It is called a non-sustainable business model.

    • bmccull

      The problem is that Telus and Bell do not act independently of each other. It means that Canada is effectively a duopoly, Rogers and Telus/Bell.

    • Sweet

      The last time I checked (a few months ago), the Big 3 offered up to $20 discount on your monthly bill if you bring your own device or buy an unsubsidized device.

    • wing

      Bell gives you 10% discount for your own phone which is BS it should be more like $20 a month.

      All the communication companies in Canada have monopolies plus the government has been on their side for many years.

      Each one squeezing the consumer as much as they can.

    • Sweet

      I just checked Bell’s BC site, in the Voice And Data Plans section, it says the following at the bottom of the page:

      “Bring your unlocked device to Bell and get $20 off your Voice & Data Plus rate plan every month.”

      If you’re not seeing it, then I suspect that that deal is not available in your province, which really sucks, since they should have that deal country-wide.

    • Tonio Time

      the only thing that is subsidized is the big three… their contract prices are way more expencive then comparable pans in the rest of the world! STOP LYING , THEY DO NOT SUBSIDIZE PHONES!

    • Dave M

      Actually this is incorrect. I worked for many years in the cable TV business. There was always that claim that competition would cause prices to fall, and I believed that until my boss of the day sat me down and explained how it worked. We will use small numbers here so you can understand why competition really doesn’t guarantee lower prices, and in the case of cable TV could result in higher prices. Say you start a company and string the community with cable. You hook up 1000 customers, and you are charging them 10.00 per month. Your income from customers is 10,000 per month. Now, you have fixed expenses that need to be paid. Your program provider wants 2.00 per month per customer so that eats up 2,000 per month. Maintenance, salaries, insurance, bank interest, and overhead eat up another 4,000 per month. That leaves you with a net profit of 4,000 per month.
      These fixed costs will never change.
      Now enter company B. Company B strings up their own cables, and to get your customers, they offer the same channel package for 9.50 per month introductory offer. immediately 500 of your customers bite. Now your net income before expences ect drops to 5000, but your fixed expenses remain at 6,000.
      Now you are loosing money, and it won’t be long before either you are out of business, your competitor is out of business, or both of you have to raise your prices to stay in business. This exact argument was made by my boss of the day in 1980 at the CRTC hearings, with regards to allowing competing cable companies to over wire and compete in the same market. He had statistics from the USA, showing consistently that in markets where competition existed, that the prices were always higher, and made a strong argument that is some industry, that which required extensive infrastructure monopolies could provide a lower cost service than allowing competition. I know that for local phone service than has held true. My local telephone bill used to be 12.00 a month, and once that industry was deregulated, and competition started in long distance, sure the long distance got cheaper, but my local line more than doubled. Just because you have competition does not guarantee that price will drop. The price drops as infrastructure costs are recouped.

    • Dave M

      This statement is 100% true. I pay full price for my phone, and my wireless provider has special rates for me, that give me very good value for my money. I pay about half of what the average person pays,under 30.00 a month for a plan with tons of minutes, Canada wide long distance, 2 gigs of data, unlimited evenings and weekends. If I had a subsided phone it would be easily 60 a month for the same.

    • Donovan

      Wind doesnt’ sell subsidized phones. You buy the phone at full retail price, up front.

    • thisiscjay

      In all honesty I’m smelling a good old “bait and switch” by Wind. I think a merger with Mobilicity is on the horizon…

    • CADDMan71

      Wind has no money to buy spectrum, why do you think they have any to buy Mobilicity? Oh, you said merger, why would Mobilicity ‘merge’ with Wind? They need money, not a partner bringing debt that’s more than double there’s.

    • thisiscjay

      Maybe you’re new here. Wind made an $190 Million bid on Mobilicity. Please check your facts before commenting else be subject to “foot in mouth” syndrome.

    • CADDMan71

      Hadn’t heard that. That’s a pretty low ball offer. When did that happen?

    • thisiscjay

      December 18th it was reported right on this very site. I agree it’s low ball as Telus had previously offered $380 and that was shut down by the government.

    • CADDMan71

      Sorry, i don’t live on this site. I’d be surprised if Wind could even come up with that amount and wondering if Mobilicity would give it a second thought before turning it down. If they were to take it then it only proves Mobilicity’s desperation.

    • thisiscjay

      Lol well truth is they ARE desperate. It’s sell or shutdown time. There’s no grey area brother…

  • Unwound

    yeesh, this doesnt bode well for them for the future, their coverage already wasnt great, even in downtown toronto.

  • Acer12345

    The Big 3 can breath easy now…and increase their prices further.

  • Rich

    It’s all politics.

    • Canook

      How is it politics? Wind doesn’t have enough money to partake in the auction because of their business model. That’s business, not politics

    • Rich

      “VimpelCom decided not to fund Wind’s 700 MHz spectrum purchases because of ongoing conflict over Ottawa’s foreign investment rules which, to date, have prevented it from taking formal control of the small Canadian carrier. The first round of bidding is set to begin on Tuesday; Wind was forced to drop out of the auction as it lacks the time to line up alternate financing.”

      Let’s not forget the fiasco with Naguib Sawiris. who has a number of choice words about telecom in Canada.

    • RoccoStiffReddi

      Wrong Richard Vimpelcom stated LAST year they were not going to fund wind any more because of the terrible performance.

    • CADDMan71

      You are correct sir. Government inaction is nothing more than a red herring. The fact is Wind, just like Mobilicity, were the architects of their own downfall. Oh, and the auction was announced, what???, 2 years ago. If you can’t find ‘alternate financing’ in that timeline, then you never had a chance.

      Oh, and Naguib Sawiris is hardly one that I’d accept advice from on how to build out a proper cellular network in an established country like Canada. With his successes dealing with such upstanding governments in countries like Egypt, Algeria, Zimbabwe, Pakistan, North Korea, and the like, I don’t know how he was unable to get it done here. Honestly, his interview with Peter Mansbridge a couple years ago spoke volumes about how out of his element he’s in.

    • Tonio Time

      do your homework better….. Sawiris built wind mobile in Italy where there was a huge duopoly and managed to create a third big competitor agaist all odds. BECAUSE THERE WAS A WILLING BY THE LEGISLATOR. Italy has 60 million people and a better a bigger mobile business. NEXT —->

    • CADDMan71

      So he was able to build a network in a time prior to smartphones that didn’t require nearly the network capacity that is needed today in a market twice as big as Canada in an area less than a third the size of British Columbia where there were only two incumbants. Wow, I’m impressed……NOT.

  • ArberBeq

    This is a sad day for all Canadians.

  • D.Kim

    WTFFFFF!

  • Guest

    Rogers and Mr.&Mrs Bellus can now relax.

    Contracts is what made the big 2+ fat in the first place. Now all you 23 millions on contracts with them (’cause you must have a $800 iPhone), are you happy?

    Sad day for Canada.

    • superfly

      I was wondering why I had no wind coverage in 99.9 % of the Canadian land mass. Huh?

    • JTon

      Who cares about covering land where no people live or travel. Your comment is stupid and you should feel stupid

    • Ryan Marshall

      the turtle heads buy those devices? You wanna blame someone, blame the marketing team at apple.

    • hardy83

      No. What made the big three fat was an incredibly flawed and actually destructive telecommunication act that did little to stop monopolies, monopolistic practices, and shutting out foreign investment completely.

      It also didn’t help that the Canadian government (no party in particular) was stupid enough to sell both cable lines and telephone lines to a private company.

      There are some things that should never ever EVER be in the hands of private business. Communication infrastructure is one of them.

    • The Invisible Hand

      Things were so much better when the government owned all the phone systems!

    • Laer

      I don’t know if that was sarcasm but we had edtel and they were awesome compared to what they are today (telus)

  • lliw

    I know nothing will probably come of it, but what about Feenix Wireless? are they still in?

  • G35

    instead of trying to attract foreign inverters which has failed miserably because of the big 3 intimidation tactics the government should start regulating the prices.

    • superfly

      Yes. More government control please.

  • Brandon Roberts

    Can someone explain to me why they didn’t participate anyway? I mean, they could have nabbed spectrum for cheap, no?

    • Acer12345

      Money hand-off from the Big 3 haha.

      But actually I wouldn’t be surpised if that were true.

    • accord1999

      I’d imagine that with the government adamant that the Big 3 can’t simply buy the spectrum from an auction winner after period of time, even a prime 700 MHz block is nearly worthless for Wind when and if it fails.

    • Who Needs Facts

      This is probably the most accurate comment on this subject yet posted.

      It is not unlike the bank not lending you money to buy a car that you cannot not afford to drive, nor sell when suddenly figure it out.

    • Stephen B Morris

      Makes perfect sense. Depressing, but sometimes the truth can hurt.

  • FunkyMonkey

    This is LITERALLY the saddest day EVER.

  • TomsDisqusted

    Yikes, this is terrible news. I think the biggest problem was that the Tories recently block Sawiris (the Egyptian who originally financed WIND) from purchasing Allstream it threw off his telecom strategy for Canada. I think everyone was shocked that he was blocked like that, and that’s when he swore off any future investment in Wind.

    • superfly

      No. Left wingers are the reason for all problems with this country. Leave the conservatives out or it.

    • Mad-elph

      I think you missed his message and went right to defensive mode. Yes he said it was a Tory policy, however they are the governing party and they made the decision to block Sawiris’ investment attempt, not the ‘left wingers’ or official opposition. They had issues with concerns to National Security….. superfly, next time think before you type.

    • superfly

      Oh I did think. I’m just informing everyone that all government involvement is the beginning of the end. But leftwingers will destroy it all immediately

    • Mad-elph

      Oh I see you are a libertarian. Well now tell me how have you survived this far without government involvement in some aspect of your life. Frankly you are missing the plot if you think that the big three follow the policies of free market. Sorry, without the government getting involved open airways(no regs) would result in no cellphones working if each company tried to take whatever frequency they could. it is like when you drive from one city to another and your favourite radio station blurs over someone elses signal and your clear station is so messed you give up and change the channel. Now do imagine that each time you walked around the city.

    • Liberal Phone Person

      Libertarians can’t face the fact that companies would rather collude than compete and that unfettered capitalism trends to monopoly. Both results worse for the consumer. Reasonable regulation is necessary.

  • ABCONMan

    I think Wind is hoping the Government will legislate the big three fair use of towers and decent roaming rates so they don’t have to build their own infrastructure.

    • superfly

      Oh please can I have more government control. Pretty please

    • ABCONMan

      You already got it with the new 2 year contract limits. How’s that working out for prices?

    • deltatux

      working very well if you aren’t on the Big 3.

    • superfly

      You want government control. Only one law would I accept. No carriers are ever allowed to sell or subsidize phones. Only sell service. Then and only then would prices come down.

    • Babulal

      Not only will the price of service come down, but handset manufacturers will also have to get competitive with pricing. This whole locked/subsidized handset business is just a ripoff!

    • Andrew_notPorC

      I think the government should let anyone use spectrum as they wish, without interference. Hee hee. All wireless communication grinds to a halt as signals are jammed.

  • Super_Deluxe

    We could’ve helped and donated if they asked because I’m sure many many Canadians including myself would do anything to help take down the big 3. Very disappointed indeed! :(

    • accord1999

      It would help if enough Canadians were willing to make a Wind a financially sustainable operation first.

    • abtoaihoihgoihaoi

      lol you think people who are only willing to pay 30 bucks but want everything would donate? ahahah

    • Super_Deluxe

      They would if they want to keep it haha.

    • Noah Roesler

      Wind should create a Kickstarter lol

  • AzorAhai

    WIND is done. They will not be able to attract new subscribers without the LTE capabilities and better signal that the 700mhz frequency offers. This SUCKS.

    • deltatux

      700 MHz isn’t required for LTE, if they are able to acquire more AWS spectrum, they can still deploy LTE. Problem is that WIND just needs more spectrum regardless of what type of spectrum it is.

    • Comrade Yeti

      This explains why they are hoping to get Mobilicity’s spectrum. If they can pair enough AWS they can have a really good HSPA+ network and then look at doing LTE over AWS. And it will be cheaper than bidding on 700.

      The only fly in the ointment is if Mobilicity’s debt holders can get the courts on their side they’d rather sell to TELUS.

    • deltatux

      It’s just that most people here thinks 700 MHz is the only way WIND can do LTE. Sure it’s the optimal solution, but it’s likely cheaper to just merge with Mobilicity instead.

      Honestly, I don’t even think WIND really needs LTE either, as long as they can get their network to DC-HSPA+ speeds, most people will stop complaining about their network speeds, only heavy users really need more than 42 mbps. I for one would be happy with 10-15 mbps on my phone off the network. WIND can already pull 5 mbps in some areas.

    • Brandon Roberts

      More than just speed caps though. LTE provides better ping and can also do VoLTE

    • deltatux

      Yes, it’s true, LTE does improve ping but ping on HSPA+ isn’t too shabby either, just did a Speedtest on my WIND connection, got 62ms ping on half signal (2/4 bars) which is pretty decent.

      As for VoLTE, the end user won’t see much benefits to it since there’s really no discernible difference, call quality wouldn’t necessarily go up compared to current GSM/HSPA circuit-switched options. What will be different would be for carriers where they are able to better streamline their operations to a fully packet-switched network for voice, messaging and data instead of relying on circuit-switched for voice and messaging and packet-switched for data. If carriers turned on VoLTE today, most people wouldn’t even notice it. I think carriers should focus on bringing AMR-WB to the masses instead which can be done on HSPA networks already, that would make call quality go up instead.

    • Brandon Roberts

      You sound like you know what you’re talking about… Does switching to an IP based calling help with WiFi calling? Wouldn’t the switch to VoLTE also allow WIND to build a wifi app?

    • deltatux

      In theory, it should be possible, but I don’t know VoLTE enough to say that it can lead to WiFi calling. All I know is that since it uses the data stream for voice, it should in theory make it possible to do WiFi calling.

    • AzorAhai

      Is there any way they can get around the building penetration issue without the 700 mhz spectrum?

    • deltatux

      Not really, unless WIND somehow broker some type of deal with the Big 3 to acquire PCS bands from them or the government auctions off another low band spectrum. The lower the frequency, the easier it is to punch through walls (to a certain limit since we all know how the AM radio band can’t punch through walls because it is too weak).

    • Andrew_notPorC

      Almost no one has 42 mbps at home in Canada. No one needs 42 mbps mobile (watching multiple 4K video streams, maybe?). Lower pings are more important for user experience.

    • deltatux

      To be honest, HSPA+’s latency isn’t bad, I get about 50-60ms on WIND with half-signal. Most people really look at LTE mainly for speed increase, latency is a bit better.

    • Sweet

      That’s what I’m thinking too. BTW, Wind already tested LTE on their network back in 2011. You can find the story here on Mobile Syrup.

    • superfly

      Oh well. Finally this experiment is over

  • St. Misery

    What a wanky Twitter post, basically “we just sh*t the bed but all is good!”

    • Plazmic Flame

      LOL

  • one5

    I wonder who will end up getting Wind, now?

    • superfly

      Wind will be bought out by…..

  • deltatux

    Here’s hoping WIND can instead muster the cashflow to acquire Mobilicity and merge their AWS spectrum assets to its spectrum holdings. WIND really needs spectrum to survive and operate their networks. It doesn’t have to be 700 MHz for them to thrive, but they need more spectrum.

  • Nadefrenzy

    “If there are remaining prime blocks of spectrum that go unpurchased, the government statesthat they will make “unassigned licences available for licensing through an alternative process, which could include a subsequent auction at a later date,” which may include additional public consultation.”

    Did everyone miss this?

    It’s possible in the future perhaps that they could purchase through another auction by which time WIND will possibly have found another financial backer. OR they could just license the spectrum as mentioned above.

    Perhaps some hope still left.

    • Mad-elph

      Pie in the sky idea. If the gov’t retook unused frequencies from all carriers they could bundle them with the unsold 700mhz noted above as an open tender process bringing in serious foreigners who could build out a proper national carrier. Say to any wireless carrier around the world (such as Carlos Slim’s group or Vodaphone etc) “bid for these and present a business plan, pay a bond for half your plans upfront, start the process and we will give you bond back as needed to build out the process.” A serious government evaluation as the ought to do for other things (military procurement etc) and we could get a real competitor out there really delivering a 4th national wireless partner.

  • Anaron

    The optimist in me wants to believe that WIND has their sights on buying Mobilicity instead of getting any 700 MHz spectrum. I think they realized that getting any undesirable 700 MHz spectrum is worse than not having Mobilicity. I figured they didn’t have the money to do both. If they get Mobilicity, they can at least stay relevant for another couple of years.

    With that said, it’s sad news indeed. I was really hoping they’d stay in. In fact, I didn’t think they’d consider withdrawing. I thought they had their finances in check with regards to the auction.

    Perhaps it’s time for me to jump ship.

    • deltatux

      I sure hope that they do buy out Mobilicity and use those AWS spectrum to good use, and maybe refarm parts of it to LTE … or maybe they might have to go fully LTE in the future with a bit of HSPA+ support to help with the transition if they can’t get more spectrum.

    • Anaron

      Their long-term survival is uncertain. Without LTE, many customers will stick with the Big 3. Also, I don’t think Mobilicity’s AWS spectrum is enough for LTE outside of Toronto.

    • deltatux

      It is likely that if Videotron does indeed expand outside of Quebec, it will likely push WIND as a regional carrier targeting a niche market, which it kind of does already. I don’t think WIND will go under any time soon since those who are already on WIND don’t seem to be too keen on LTE (if they were, they wouldn’t be on WIND in the first place). I for one am those kinds of people who really don’t need LTE, it’s nice to have, but I’m perfectly fine with HSPA+.

      I think if WIND was able to purchase Mobilicity, it is much more likely that they will use that AWS spectrum to add more capacity to their current HSPA+ network and then try again next year to bid for the 2.5 GHz spectrum for LTE deployment. The more I think about it, the more I come to realize that LTE isn’t really necessary for WIND’s short term survival, they just need to get their capacity up to ensure decent speeds on their existing network before rolling out LTE.

    • accord1999

      Wind was practically guaranteed a prime block in Ontario, BC and Alberta, or 66% of the Canadian GDP. The Canadian auction rules are the most generous in the world for a new entrant.

    • Anaron

      They bought what they could but AWS (1700 MHz) isn’t that great for penetrating walls. That’s why WIND subscribers lose signal when they enter a large and wide building or go underground.

    • deltatux

      That or if WIND built more towers, they can also get around the wall penetration issue. Yes, AWS pales in comparison in penetrating walls, but if you have more towers, it will help punch through walls. Unfortunately, due to incumbents dragging their feet and WIND’s limited financial resources, densification is going to take a while.

    • Plazmic Flame

      Do you want WIND to turn our urban areas into Neo Tokyo? More towers in an already dense area would be silly.

  • McNucklefuts

    This is so sad! I have been looking forward to this auction from the first day I signed on with WIND Mobile. The idea of finally having both LTE as well as maybe some coverage outside of metropolitan areas was just amazing!

    I hope that they made a really solid bid for Mobilicity when they had a chance… otherwise I cannot see a single thing that could save this company. They just do not have the ability to grow and implement new technologies.

    This is a tragedy.

  • mike

    WiFi calling and messaging would help the network more efficiently ! As a customer I am disappointed . oh well I will just use my ephone app wheni have no mobile signal .

    • deltatux

      Ya, it would have helped WIND Mobile if they allowed for WiFi calling to offload their network. I would love to see WiFi calling myself.

    • Liberal Phone Person

      Right!? I always wondered why they didn’t do this… In building-Penetration would be a non-issue!

    • deltatux

      Likely due to limited financial resources to deploy and support such a system or public’s perception of it being hard to use. Unfortunately, most people who use technology these days aren’t really savvy and WiFi calling might look hard to them and they will turn the other way.

  • Tornado15550

    I hope wind acquires mobilicity, and uses their spectrum to improve their network. Another thing Wind could do, is to expand to more provinces such as Saskatchewan to increase the number of subscribers and the amount of funding they receive from paying subscribers as a result.

    • McNucklefuts

      I do not disagree but I do not think that they acquired any spectrum in those provinces. I know for sure they have no spectrum in Quebec. I believe they only have holdings in BC, Alberta, Northwest Territories, and Ontario.

  • Scazza

    This actually makes very little sense, unless globalive cut all funding. In almost every region, there would be at least ONE block of spectrum that Robellus cannot bid on, meaning anyone can acquire it for relatively cheap. Wind backing out means they have 0 cash to bid (and I believe wasted their entry into the bid in the first place). The only good thing to come of this, is that the other “regional” carriers will now have less competition to grab up their blocks, and cost them even less potentially.

  • Chris

    This is terrible. Can Wind and Mobilicity team up, like Robellus has but, with our support?

    I bought the $39/m plan to test out Wind, and it’s not too bad. If they had the service/reception that my Telus phone has and across Canada, I would drop Telus in a second, even if they ended up matching Wind’s price or even beating it by a bit. Screw Robellus.

    • deltatux

      Well if you don’t use data while outside of their network, WIND is still a very good proposition. Personally, I don’t travel out of the WIND zones, maybe once every few months for a short period of time. It’s only 20 cents per minute and honestly, the money I save by sticking with WIND is worth it. Yes, roaming charges sound scary but if you look at the big picture and actually do the math, you’ll be able to find which is the better deal.

      For some people who are always out of the WIND network and have to be on their phones a lot, the Big 3 will make more sense. For those like me who are usually in the WIND coverage area and don’t travel out much, WIND is a much better proposition.

      It all comes down to how you use your device and where you travel mainly determines if WIND is a good idea for you or not.

    • superfly

      So you are one of the cattle in the pen. Never see real life, only make believe city life.

    • Jay

      LOL you probably grew up on a cattle pen you ignorant hick.
      Because there’s so much to see outside of the Wind Zone. Let’s be real, we live in Canada, where over 90% of land mass is uninhabitable. Wind covers highly populated areas (Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton etc.) and is ideal for most of the Canadian demographic. Where are you from? Keswick? or Orangeville? Please stop talking, you narrow minded right wing extremist. Your posts on this thread gave me cancer.

    • Anaron

      Ignore that prick. You made valid points which I agree with wholeheartedly. WIND is great for people that don’t need LTE and stay in urban areas.

    • HelloCDN

      For the life of me, I cannot understand how you people expect the same level of service and network quality for half the price. You don’t expect Whole Foods products to be priced at Wal Mart prices, right?
      Without an investor, who is willing to wait at least 10 years to get the money back, there is simply no way for WIND to fund any massive improvements for the network.

    • Chris

      You’re either putting words into my mouth, or not replying to my comment. Where did I say or even suggest that I expected “the same level of service and network quality for half the price?”

  • Ryan Marshall

    I’m surprised harper doesn’t offer WIND an interest free loan! They want them to win the auction so badly!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Columbo

    Me too. The auction is a joke now. Thanks a lot govt of Canada for helping foster competition. Can’t wait for the recently announced 2015 auction so the big 3 can monopolise all that spectrum too.

  • Who Needs Facts

    There are two reasons businesses are not flocking to Canada to compete.

    1.) It does not make business sense. There just is not enough return on investment to do business here. The largest cellphone companies in the world could parachute in and build a network in a year regardless of the big three’s market share, roaming or tower sharing. They don’t because it does not make financial sense.

    2.) A regulatory environment that is subject to change depending on whether there is an election in the works; a budget that needs balancing or a scandal that needs a diversion.

    For all of you that blame the big three for the woes in the industry, just remember whose network you are actually on the second you leave your providers footprint. Without the big three you would be looking at exactly zero bars because as evidenced, there is not another provider on earth that is willing to invest here. You should be thanking them.

  • hardy83

    With the Conservative government, you think you would be use to that feeling by now.

    Not saying the Liberals or NDP would do better, but MAN are the Cons really bad. lol

  • jonnny

    the big three had decades of free spectrum from the government. wind should get its fair share for free.

    • Delphus

      Actually, initially the government had a hard time giving the spectrum away, the cost of building a network being astronomical.

      That said, you can’t give to one and make others pay not legal in any sense.

  • ScooterinAB

    Gong.

    Not to doomsay, but this is a very lethal blow for Wind. Not only do they miss out on 700 mHz, but this confirms that they are having cash flow problems and can’t stay in the market. 700 mHz was important for wind because of building penetration and long term growth. And even with the government handing them everything, they still weren’t able to stay in the auction. With such lack of confidence, the company can never be more than a service providers for pimps and drug dealers.

    Game over.

    • Who Needs Facts

      Sorry for replying to three day old post but had to LMAO at “pimps and drug dealers”. Too funny.

  • Who Needs Facts

    Are you surprised though? WInd has been on the thin edge for months and Lacavera himself said months ago they did not have the finances in place to proceed with the auction.

    • Mike

      They would of had the finances if they enough to their customers to run their business.

    • CADDMan71

      If they had enough customers, but they’d need a proper network to get a reputation to get customers, but they’d need money to build that network, but they spent too much on spectrum before they ever built anything, but they need financing to expand their network, but they need customers to create confidence to get financing, wait didn’t you start there?!?!?!?

  • Thomas C. Riddell

    This sucks

  • omegajimes

    With the 700 MHz, Wind would have actually been viable to use in Vancouver. As it is, I can’t even get reception in any highrise downtown.

    • Sweet

      I live in downtown Vancouver and I get full reception (5 bars).

  • Paul

    “superfly”, aka robers, bell, telus employee

    • superfly

      Aka: koodo customer….. whu whu whhaaaaaa!!!

    • superfly

      And before you cry and try to explain to me that koodo is telus let me inform you that “I know”

    • Dave M

      Koodo is owned by Telus. Koodo is run as a totally separate brand, and they have totally different plans and prices.
      I have both Telus and Koodo phones. Each has their strengths. My kids get the Koodo phones, as no contract. My phone, both personal, and company phone are Telus phones. The wife is also on Koodo, so they kids can call free anytime.

    • Me Ted

      Koodo is Telus.

  • Paul

    had the government not scared away the funding of foreign investors such as naguib sawiris then maybe the big three would have had some stronger competition.

  • McNucklefuts

    tomorrow unless this news pushes the auction back. Which I think is a very real possibility

  • Dave M

    Good, wind is a joke. So is Moblicity. Lets get on with it big 3.

    • stephane

      OK enjoy your anal pounding that your gonna get from the Big 3. You can borrow my lube if you want.

  • Who Needs Facts

    I guess now, if he doesn’t cancel the auction, Moore will find a way for Wind to buy Mobilicity; perhaps the feds buy Mobilicity and then grant the spectrum to Wind?

    The added spectrum should give Wind some breathing room until the Feds can change the regulations again in hopes of enticing an international buyer.

    What a mess. With all that has gone on since Moore’s arrival to the portfolio, Harper must has a “we need to talk” email just sitting waiting to be sent. Who is next as Minister is the question – god knows no one will willingly step into the mess the CP has created.

    • Delphus

      You realize Moore is only Harper’s puppet in all this right???

    • Who Needs Facts

      I think that is what I said – maybe not so eloquently though.

    • Delphus

      hehe :-)

  • Dave M

    Got news for you. Telus is not planning to roll out 700 mhz in urban areas any time soon. They will deploy it in more rural areas first, and then move it into urban areas next year.

    • JTon

      700 Mhz is also excellent for penetrating concrete. So it’ll improve coverage is dense urban areas. You have a source for your info?

    • Ryan Marshall

      internal info. next question

    • Dave M

      I do, but due to a NDA I am not permitted to discus this in detail.
      What I do know is the 700 MHZ LTE will be rolled out in the more suburb and rual areas first because of the superior coverage, with fewer towers. If you want to read into that they the 850HSPA will be overlaid with 700 LTE first, then you are on the right track. LTE is already deployed on 2100 in the more urban areas. 700 will follow, but that roll out date is a closely guarded secret, for competitive reasons naturally. I have been told later in the year, whereas the burbs and rural areas will be deployed first. 700 does penetrate much better, but also requires much larger antennas, and that can be problematic in the big cities where people are already opposed to cell antennas. It is much easier to hide micro cell antennas than big 700MHz power house antennas.

  • geokilla

    By withdrawing from 700Mhz, Wind isn’t not getting the spectrum they need. Nor are they going to get more/my business. Goodbye

  • Gurtej Singh

    That just sucks.

  • Sweet

    The Globe And Mail is reporting that Vimpel pulled the funding because the government is preventing Vimpel from formally taking ownership of Wind.

    That would explain the timing of the pullout. :-)

    • RoccoStiffReddi

      actually that is not what they said. The said that Vimplecom was repeating that they will no longer be funding wind. This was talked about last year. Ummm did you not get the link? So if winds only investor is not going to help them, and as justin said since the debt is about 2,5 billion and IF we believe winds numbers are correct then wind might just be paying off the interest… big IF.. how are they going to get money to buy anything? so raise the debt to 3 billion? I think the paytrolls, and windiots need to look at tony and uncle swarie.. what a mess

    • Sweet

      You clearly didn’t read the article properly, in particular, this part: “VimpelCom decided not to fund Wind’s purchase of 700-megahertz spectrum because of ongoing conflict over Ottawa’s foreign investment rules that, to date, have prevented it from taking formal control of the small Canadian carrier.”

    • Delphus

      Ahh the Harper government, misleading Canadians and Industry alike.

      Gotta love that they were slapped in the face for their misleading job training adds for a program that isn’t even approved.

      Then look at their adds flaunting their good ol’ oil buddies.

      Makes you wonder about their telecom adds.

      All our tax dollars hard at work for self serving adds…

      disgusting..

  • Christopher T

    This was my last hope for WIND. I’m going to switch to Rogers now. WINDs reception is dreadful in Toronto. I thought it might improve over the new few years with this spectrum. My phone won’t work unless I’m near a window or outside. Beware.

    • Eli_Vance

      I don’t know which parts of the city you are using your phone in but for the most part I get full bars wherever I go within the city limits. I can even get signal in some underground subway stations these days.

    • Christopher T

      Bay and Bloor. I don’t believe that you get recption in the subway. What kind of phone do you have?

    • deltatux

      Could be your device, last time I was in that area, I had signal… As for subway, no comment, I put my phone in airplane mode since I don’t expect signal anyways, why waste my battery having my phone scan for network signal. For reference, I have the Nexus 4.

    • Anaron

      Don’t switch to Rogers. Check out Fido, Koodo (owned by Telus), or Virgin Mobile (owned by Bell). They have better deals than the Big 3.

    • deltatux

      All of those are the Big 3, just different brands lol.

    • Anaron

      I know they’re sub-brands. Why else do you think I mentioned Telus or Bell? I forgot to put Rogers in brackets after Fido.

  • Harry Saxon

    Disappointing considering the biggest drawbacks at the moment are coverage, and speed. Adding 700mhz spectrum lte would solve both issues for wind, and give it a much more stable experience, especially for commuters *ie internet streaming radio etc* . With that spectrum they would be much more competitive especially with current plans and pricing, as their would be no real drawbacks or compromises at that point.

  • PreferredGeoff

    Unfortunately Winds problem is they are in a massive country that is to spread out that costs to much to build out a network these days. People that are complaining that 70 bucks a month is to high is what hurt wind, so wind went at 40 and proved you can’t generate enough cash at those prices to have a good national network and by more spectrum. So people need to quit whining about 70 bucks a month for unlimited calling and 6gbs and just pay up. It costs money to have a good network with fast service and LTE. You’ll go buy dinner for 50 bucks for 2 hours but complain about 70 bucks for a month. Us canadians are a confusing bunch.

  • Delphus

    Don’t want to say I said so, but….

    Sad.

  • Paul Serge

    its simple: no backbone network means no lte. its true for verizon its true for wind, mobilicity.

  • Delphus

    The same reason you probably won’t buy a Ferrari….

  • Kenny G

    Not good, not good at all. My guess is Bell is going to buy it up now. So sad. :-(

  • HelloCDN

    It’s downwards from now, Tony. To have more users, they just had to have more spectrum. Their pricing could only get them this far.

  • HelloCDN

    For a simple reason – Canada’s population is 10 times smaller than that of the US. People here often claim that it doesn’t mean anything, but hey, I guess those are the same people who believe planes use magic to fly.

  • Me Ted

    You need LTE for God’s sake. Your current HSPA offering is too slow.

    • deltatux

      LTE is not necessary, more capacity on their HSPA+ network would be great. Honestly, even without LTE on the Big 3 networks, their HSPA+ solutions (esp. Bell and TELUS due to DC-HSPA+) are very fast themselves.

  • BB BB

    There goes my$40 a month experiment. If wind did one good thing they brought unlimited calling and texting plans to the big cellular octopus of bell rogers and Telus. But now data costs are though the roof, data caps are a joke like the 400mb fido plan which can be used up in 40 seconds on an LTE network. Wind isn’t horrible but this news is.

    • Stylinred

      data caps are ridiculous, data virtually costs nothing but these greedy carriers want to make it seem like we’re mining for gold here and the government continues to allow them to get away with their bs

  • random

    did a bunch of robelus employees suddenly sign up on this site or what?? They bled Wind dry …broke their will and NOW they open up the 700 MHz range…what a joke. Im still sticking with wind…soo mad

  • roman129

    Damn, this was going to bring me back to Wind.

  • Cal Grainger

    well that figures. i guess the only option is to deal with signal in the bedroom kitchen and every other block ( literally ) or port. i live in the suburbs of vancouver and thats the quality some of us have.

  • Bill Treew

    Wind provides such a nasty and terrible service. You pay them money, they screw you, then they screw you more, and more. And when you are completely in trouble, they screw you again, just fore their fun.

    Keep away from Wind mobile. It’s like shoes or tools, good shoes or tools are never cheap!

    • Stylinred

      what sort of bs propaganda stunt are you trying here?

  • Donovan

    I don’t understand why there are auctions at all. Just give each telecom company a chunk to work with. Let businesses compete on an equal footing.